Swallows 2017

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Reiver, 19 May 2017.

  1. Reiver

    Reiver Legendary Member

    The story so far - the first Swallow arrived back in our garage on the 16th April, and by the 23rd of April had seemed to have found a partner. Here were the two of them

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCIaMnCJ5gE

    I guess the noisy one is the male telling of his great adventure in South Africa and how he flew all the way here across great deserts and seas - and the female is thinking to herself - 'FFS does he think I come business class in a 747'

    Anyway this relationship did not last and after a few days there was just the one, who would spend a great deal of time singing away by itself trying to entice a mate.

    Then about a week ago another one arrived, the two seem to be inseparable, doing some amazing high speed flying where they chase each other at high speed in what I guess is seeing if the other one is good enough to raise a family with. They must have past the test with each other and on the 17th May I noticed them taking nest building materials into the garage. It is not much of a start but I think we are going to see a nest here, not really where I want them to be but it's up to them.

    Day 1

    Day 3
  2. Glow worm

    Glow worm Guru

    Near Newmarket
    They do seem to have quite a sophisticated 'language'. Certainly a broad range of sounds in their chattering.
    Like you, I often imagine they're telling stories about the journey home. Looking forward to seeing how your pair get on this year.
  3. irw

    irw Quadricyclist

    Liverpool, UK
    Ooo, ooo! Can I do the obligatory annual :hyper::hyper::hyper:?
  4. Yellow Saddle

    Yellow Saddle Veteran

    Loch side.
    Our pair has been in a long relationship and is now in their 3rd year. For two of those years they used the same nest, but this year it is a new home for them. They arrived on the 22nd of April and obviously flew Emirates and had to make strange stop-overs.Otherwise they would have been here on the 16 April flight.
    They raised two broods last year but the second brood was wholly unsuccessful. They dumped the non-viable babies to die on my front stairs - three of them over a period of 10 days. Their nest was anchored against the wall right above the front door and each year it was an unholy mess. I had to scrub the stairs each day to get rid of the acidic droppings that etched into the cement stairs and eventually I cut a plastic mat to size and laid it over the stairs. We couldn't use the front door for a few months for fear of disturbing them, fear of squashing a reject or fear of squashing a poo sac.
    During winter I decided to remove the nest and scrub away traces of it. I replaced the light fitting below that got bombed and could not be rescued and hoped that on their return to their northern summer home they would nest elsewhere on the house. On their return they posed on their telephone wire and surveyed the scene. They didn't look too angry or puzzled but started fluttering about the eves and bombed the lounge window twice in a form of passive-aggressive behaviour.
    Nevertheless, they didn't attempt to build on the old site and chose a new one under the eve, directly next to the door and slightly lower than the previous site. During the three weeks of Scottish drought we've just emerged from, they nevertheless managed to find suitable mud and the nest is now complete. I haven't monitored their behaviour for a few days but shall go and have a look.

    Swallows are messier than Mynahs/starlings. Those birds remove the poo sacs from the nest and dump them quite far away. The swallows just let rip. Other than that, they're pretty OK birds. I wish I could just migrate from summer to summer.

    Reiver, say goodbye to your un-etched cement floor and go and buy a new trowel. You won't be using that one this summer.
  5. Cuchilo

    Cuchilo Prize winning member X2

    Yey :hyper:
    hopless500, Pat "5mph" and raleighnut like this.
  6. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    ^^^^^^^^ Likewise :hyper: :becool:
    hopless500, Pat "5mph" and Cuchilo like this.
  7. OP

    Reiver Legendary Member

    Swallows or House Martins ?
    swallow will have an open topped nest, Martins create a closed dome with a tiny hole they squeeze through. Martins tend to nest under eaves and do create much more mess under the nest, Swallows definitely take the young's poo sacks away (see 3:20 in this video from last year) but swallows do make a little mess too, especially under where the adults perch on an evening although they are a creature of habit and will sit in the exact same place every night, so a strategically placed beer mat would catch the lot.
  8. Pat "5mph"

    Pat "5mph" A kilogrammicaly challenged woman Moderator

    Awww, it's @Reiver's swallows, they are back! :wub:
  9. OP

    Reiver Legendary Member

    a little bit more construction
    hopless500, Katherine, Mrs M and 3 others like this.
  10. Yellow Saddle

    Yellow Saddle Veteran

    Loch side.
    Definitely swallows. Lesser European, if my memory from birdwatching days are correct. Open top nest and all that. This year I'll monitor the poo sacs and see who's guilty. I must say, these two definitely don't do precision bombing. A beer mat will not do the trick. Their grouping on the target is more like a 1/2 meter square. It seems as if ours are ahead of yours in terms of nesting progress by at least three weeks.
  11. twentysix by twentyfive

    twentysix by twentyfive Clinging on tightly

    Over the Hill
    No plastering or cementing for you this summer @Reiver. Much nicer this way :thumbsup:
  12. OP

    Reiver Legendary Member

    they have been very busy today, presumably helped by all the rain yesterday giving them plenty options on collecting mud. It may just need lined out
  13. annedonnelly

    annedonnelly Girl from the North Country

    Looks like they've chosen a position you can easily photograph!
  14. OP

    Reiver Legendary Member

    another day and its a bit bigger, I guess it just needs the feathers now.
    Cuchilo, hopless500, Mrs M and 6 others like this.
  15. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

    Brilliant @Reiver cheers for posting
    raleighnut likes this.
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